Friday, February 20, 2009


“Men and women sin in different ways,” concludes Msgr Wojciech Giertych, theologian to the papal household, writing in the Vatican newspaper. The most common sin for women is pride, and for men it is lust.

The report is based on a study of confessions carried out by Fr Roberto Busa, a 95-year-old Jesuit scholar.

I don’t doubt there may be some psychological truth lurking in this observation, but it gets confused by the notion firstly that pride and lust are 'sins', and further that they are 'deadly', and therefore have dire consequences if you die without having confessed them. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into Hell".

The idea of eternal damnation is an appalling one. How can a human being actually get their heads round this possibility? Torture that goes on and on FOR EVER.

With this sort of context, the confessions on which the study was based have to be taken as made under duress, and therefore unreliable.

Anyway, I can’t see anything wrong with lust or pride, taken in moderation. It’s normal and healthy to feel attracted to others (lust), and to enjoy feeling attractive (pride). If they become the basis of who you think you are, then that’s another matter. But it doesn’t damn you, and anyway you can’t force people to change, as the Catholic Church seems to try to do.

Catholicism isn’t the only religion that tries to terrorise people into behaving as it wants them to, though if we were to have a real war on terror, I think Catholic Doctrine would be a good place to start. Tibetan Buddhism also does this. You get these extraordinarily detailed and lengthy descriptions of the different types of hell, which are extremely difficult to escape from, in some of the Scriptures. And after you die, according to the Tibetan Book of the Dead, you eventually become so terrified by the white light of reality that you flee into another body. For any of you out there who still idealise Tibetan Buddhism, remember it is an organised religion that can be just as heavy-handed as the Catholics.

So don’t die, it’s not good for you!

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Incidentally, the modern Vatican gained its independence on 7 June 1929 at 11am in Rome. With Venus in Taurus and Mars in Leo, you would have thought it would be women who stand accused of sensuality/lust, and the men who stand accused of pride. With an intercepted Sun-Moon in Gemini, and nothing to speak of in water, the Vatican is not short on ideas, but not too good at connecting them to actual human beings.

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Darren said...

How are we to evaluate these ideas about reality, through astrology?

For example, is the key to understanding religions (or at least our current religions) to understand Pisces? Does Pisces association with illusion and intoxication 'prove' that religious ideas are nonsense? Or maybe sometimes illusions are just a way to communicate deeper truths? (in the same way that a film is - literally speaking - an illusion, but can express truths about human life).

And if Pisces is about compassion, why do these religions scare people so much with these stories of hell?

bb said...

It's not about religion, it's about power at least the paternalcentric ones are. Not that women don't lust after power...

clymela said...

I was interested in the Pluto in the 11th. Interesting friends there. Also I found the mars and Neptune in the 12th interesting indicating some confusion around sexual identity in the guys and the women much stronger than these confused men can accept.

Kenna J said...

I understand lust and pride as sins, especially in light of the original meaning of the word "sin", which is "off the mark".

Lust doesn't mean sexual desire, it means the desire to use another for your own purpose. It starts out as good intentions, such as the desire to please another or make close contact with them, then gets diverted at some point into exploitation.

Pride in the negative sense doesn't mean love of self but rather the destructive way the ego can dominate. Again, it starts out as a desire to be a good person doing good in the world but at some point gets diverted into an arrogance that dismisses the importance of others.

In both cases, you find yourself off your original mark.

I think the most destructive part of Catholicism is not its ideations of eternal damnation but its message that your error needs to be repaired with GOD, and screw whomever you did the deed to. A truly useful religion would be one that teaches people to make atonement with the people they've actually hurt. I think Alcoholics Anonymous may be like this.

Kenna J said...

Observe, in the chart of the Vatican, the grand trine of the serial killer.